The Business Side of Journalism

As technology advances and news becomes easier to attain, journalism (specifically newspaper companies) will continue to have a growing problem when it comes to revenue. Before the days of internet and social media, newspapers were a main source of news and even entertainment. As noted by Nicco Mele in the podcast we listened to in class, newspaper companies made a ridiculous amount of revenue back then. Today, however, is very different. Nowadays, due to the internet, people can gather endless news and entertainment for little to usually no cost to them from websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google. Of course this will become popular. If someone can get the same news for free then why wouldn’t they? But as we discussed in class this can be very damaging to the world of journalism and even to our world in general as a lot of the accurate and trustworthy information comes from newspapers. In addition to that a lot of television news and other forms of news often source newspapers as their main sources for stories. We found this to be true from the comical yet accurate video we watched in class this past week. If newspapers go out of business because people stop paying for their news altogether, it is very possible that we might end up getting news that is not accurately sourced, or even just inaccurate in general and potentially biased.

So what can we do to help combat this potential problem? Well Nicco Mele sparked a couple of ideas for me after listening to the assigned podcast. First I would like to mention  that I think it is essential to educate people on why it is so important to stop this trend of free news to continue. This could be challenging since people are so used to not having to pay for news now, but I think it is important to understand how this can effect the accuracy of news, and why it is important to have the accurate, trustworthy and non-biased news that newspapers bring to the table. Mele stated in the podcast that he believes if this trend of free news continues, then one-third or maybe even one-half of newspaper companies will go out of business within the next three to five years. So unless something changes soon, we might end up getting news about kittens and raccoons rather than important political topics as the funny video we watched comically depicted.

There are a few things I think we can do to prevent this trend of free news from continuing. The main thing that stuck out to me from the podcast was the idea of subscription based models of making revenue. What this meant to me was having people pay maybe a monthly fee or something of that source to get access to the news they want to receive. There was another method that Mele mentioned, but it would not work as good and that is for good reason. The method is to pay for each piece, like iTunes has people pay

business

Free photo by Olu Eletu from unsplash.com

$2.99 for each song they buy. The reason this works for iTunes and why it wouldn’t work for news is because there is only one iTunes so you are forced to buy it there since there is no other place to get the song from. Meanwhile in news there are many other places you can get the same news from for free. That being said, the only idea that sticks out to me in my mind to make revenue for news would be to have subscriptions. Now the big question is can we get a majority of people to hop on this idea even though they are used to free news? I guess we will find out in the next three to five years.

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